Joel Marapil, International Indigenous Music Summit, 2024

Joel Marapil|
Joel Marapil (pronounced HO-elle mah-rah-PILL) is an Indigenous Mapuche from Chile and a Werken – a cultural elder for the Kechukawin community, and a poet. As with the opening  Night Gala, this evening began with deep traditional roots: a lone man with his voice, a jaw harp, an ancient horn, and a hand drum. (And onstage translation from Jorge Requena Ramos, Artistic Director of the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg.) With his sometimes gentle and wavering, sometimes strong and commanding voice, Marapil charmed the packed audience, teaching them the words to sing along, and inspiring spontaneous clapping. He commented that “the different colours of people’s hair in the audience is like different flowers in a garden.” One of his refrains was, “Say hello to your sister / Say hello to your brother,” and one comment was about ”how to multiply the joy.” He introduced one song by saying, unlike popular entertainers in stadiums, shouting, “where are the ladies at,” he was going to sing “where are the peoples at?” Then he sang a song with chorus asking where this or that Indigenous tribe was, with the answer “they’re here,” in the room – and  taught the crowd to  sing it with him. The standing ovation he received at the end was no surprise.


Ellescriv, International Indigenous Music Summit, 2024

Ellescriv is the indie-rock project of Lorissa Scriven, a member of Saulteau Nations, from the Northern B.C. town of Taylor (Treaty 8 territory). Scriven has a great voice, with a little vulnerability around the edges, and a little country-style hurtin’ in it. She was very thankful to have been invited to the 2024 IIMS with her guitarist and bassist, though unfortunately her drummer was unable to attend. “Dreams,” a song from her brand new album Wandering the Pine, was about remaining passionate about  making music through the ups and downs of being an artist. With a handful of chords, and alternating tempos between the verses and the chorus, she brought a lot of heart to the performance.


Alan Syliboy, International Indigenous Music Summit, 2024

Alan Syliboy and The Thundermakers
Alan Syliboy (pronounced SILL-uh-boy) comes from Millbrook First Nation Community in Truro, Nova Scotia, and his Thundermakers are a seven-piece band:  fiddle, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, powwow drum, percussion, drum kit, electric bass, and keyboards (as well as two female dancers in full traditional dress for the opening song). They’re a blues-rock band with choral-powwow-chant background vocals, where almost everybody in the band vocalizes in unison (rather than harmony). They also spread the lead singing duties around, as Syliboy performed a spoken-word song about a canoe on the river being his  mother, leading him through life and then back home as it ends; percussionist Aaron Prosper sang a traditional whale hunting song; and acoustic guitarist Hubert Francis led an Irish jig “about the little people” – which got the crowd up and dancing.